Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Aug. 27: Forage Management Class for Horses

By Keith Mickler

Question: Where can I learn more about pasture and forage management for my horses?

Answer: Do you feel like you are throwing your money away on hay, having to feed your horses all summer long when the grass should be growing?  The ability of your pasture to bounce back from the next drought, flood, or hottest summer on record all depends on how well you manage your pasture. 


There are a lot of factors to consider such as forage variety selection, stocking rates, soil fertility, rotational grazing practices, and weed control that can make your pasture more resilient with fewer problems in the future.  A well-managed pasture provides the best forage, nutrition, and environment for the health of your horses and ultimately saves money on feeding costs.  Managing pastures properly also prevents erosion and nutrient loss from the soil, which helps protect local ponds, streams and water quality.


To answer these and many other common questions we get from horse owners, local County Extension offices will be hosting an Equine & Pasture Management Workshop on Monday, August 27, 2012 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm at the Bartow County Extension office.  This will be a very informative evening filled with basic presentations related to pasture management.  Dr. Dennis Hancock, Extension Forage Specialist, from the University of Georgia will be sharing current, research-based information about pastures and forage management. 


This training is tailored to meet the needs of equine managers, stable operators, and beginning small farmers in northwest Georgia.  This class includes basic pasture management, feeding hay, forage quality, horse nutrition, soil sampling, fertility management, weed control, and farm bill conservation programs.


The cost of the program is $10, which includes copies of several reference materials, and two hours of classes taught by experts in the field.  This is a program that doesn't come around very often, so make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity so close to home. 


To register for the program, please call our office for a registration form by the August 20th deadline.  Or, you can download the form from our website below and click on the Equine & Pasture Management link under "Local News & Events."  Please share this information with any friends and neighbors that you know own horses in the area and that might benefit from this program.  This program is also appropriate for other small farmers that own goats and other livestock.


Keith Mickler is the County Coordinator and agriculture agent for The University of Georgia/Floyd County Cooperative Extension. Located at 12 East 4th Ave, Rome, GA 30161 (706) 295-6210. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension - Learning for Life. Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth.  An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. To obtain extension publications please visit our web site www.ugaextension.com or contact your county Cooperative Extension office.

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